Hawaii finally gives green light to medical cannabis dispensaries to grow

4 mins read
  • Hawaii’s eight dispensaries can finally begin growing cannabis if they’re in compliance with all the rules
  • There were 15,334 medical marijuana patients registered in Hawaii at the end of 2016, with more than 40% residing on the Big Island

The long wait for thousands of Hawaiians waiting for access to legal medicinal cannabis is over.  The American state Hawaii has announced it will finally allow its medical marijuana dispensaries to begin growing their own cannabis as early as Feb. 1, following several months of delays.

Hawaii’s lack of a federally required software system, which tracks the product from seed to sale, has been the main problem preventing the state

One of the main holdups has been the state lacking a federally required software system to track the product from seed to sale. The Hawaii Department of Health said last Wednesday, however, that it’s finally ready to go online with its tracking system, much to the rejoice of medicinal marijuana patients and cannabis activists.

Medical marijuana dispensaries were legalised all the way back in 2015, with the state Legislature awarding eight licenses for businesses last year. The dispensaries were initially expected to begin sales in July, but have had to wait over half a year to finally begin growing and cultivating their own cannabis.

Health officials said four licensees, Manoa Botanicals and Aloha Green on Oahu and Maui’s Pono Life Sciences and Maui Grown Therapies, have indicated they are ready to begin growing. It can take between three and five months for plants to mature.

Four of these dispensaries, Oahu’s Manoa Botanicals and Aloha Green and Maui’s Pono Life Sciences and Maui Grown Therapies, have indicated to health officials that they are now ready to begin their own grows.

The founder and CEO of Manoa Botanicals, Brian Goldstein, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that his company expects to begin cultivation this week, but that he is still unsure when it will be able to open for business.

Commenting on his excitement for the opening of the dispensaries, Brian said: “It is exciting, but there’s some critical milestones ahead of us.

“We’re not going to be able to sell until a lab is certified, and there is uncertainty as to when that’s going to happen.”

Teri Gorman of Maui Grown Therapies said her dispensary’s production facility needs one more inspection from the state before it receives approval to grow cannabis.

“We are certainly happy and relieved that we’ve gotten to this point,” Gorman said. “Certainly, cultivation’s a major step and we’re very thankful for that, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over.”

The Department of Health said it is reviewing two applications from testing laboratories seeking to open on Maui and Oahu. The department also anticipates the integration of the seed-to-sale tracking system with the patient registry will take two to three months.

Image credit: Mauitime
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